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Iraq and al-Qaida part of same picture, says Straw
The Guardian ^ | January 6, 2003

Posted on 02/11/2003 10:00:21 PM PST by Republican_Strategist

Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, will today soften up British public opinion for war in the Gulf by making a direct link for the first time between Iraq and terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

His assertion comes at the start of a week that will see preparations for war intensify. The defence secretary, Geoff Hoon, is to end months of speculation by informing the Commons this week of the mobilisation of British forces.

In a speech to British ambassadors in London this morning, Mr Straw will claim that terrorist groups such as Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida and rogue states such as Iraq are "part of the same picture".

Despite determined efforts by the US administration since September 11, the CIA and other intelligence services have failed to find any connection between al-Qaida or any other terrorist group and the Iraqi president, Saddam Hus sein. But Mr Straw will say that terrorist groups could in future secure biological, chemical or nuclear weapons from rogue states.

"The most likely sources of technology and know-how for such terrorist organisations are rogue regimes which continue to flout their obligations under international law not to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," he will tell the ambassadors.

"This is why terrorism and rogue regimes are part of the same picture. Our immediate aim must be to disrupt and eliminate terrorist groups which might attempt to acquire WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But we will also have to deter and remove the threat posed by hostile or unstable states which possess or are pursuing WMD."

Iraq claims it no longer has weapons of mass destruction and UN inspectors have failed to find any since returning to the country late last year.

Mr Straw will say that Iraq is a litmus test of the world's determination to hold states to their non-proliferation commitments. "Iraqi disarmament - whether it is achieved by peaceful means or by force - is essential both for the world's capacity to deal with the threat presented by WMD and for the authority of the UN."

Later in the week, Mr Hoon is to make a statement to the Commons, announcing that up to 7,000 reservists, including medics, are to be mobilised, along with thousands of full-time service personnel.

The force will be ready to fight within six to eight weeks, though servicemen have been warned they could be in the Gulf for nine months or more.

The Nobel peace prizewinner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, criticised Tony Blair for his "mind-boggling" support of the US. "Many, many of us are deeply saddened to see the United States aided and abetted extraordinarily by Britain," he said.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alqaida; iraq
Note: This web page may be down for an hour or two due to high volume of visitors. Please bookmark and visit it in an hour or two. The Iraqi-Bin Laden Connection

Mike Boettcher: Arrests may link al Qaeda, Iraq

Powell: New Bin Laden Statement Confirms Iraq Link
1 posted on 02/11/2003 10:00:21 PM PST by Republican_Strategist
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To: Republican_Strategist
It is interesting how Mr. Straw and Mr. Powell, formerly considered the moderates, are carrying the water now for our allied action. They know what's going on, and this development alone is an indication of the seriousness of the threat we face.
2 posted on 02/11/2003 10:05:37 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: JennysCool; patriciaruth; OKCSubmariner; cicero's_son; Nogbad; Mitchell; Travis McGee; ...
My guess is that, at minimum, Putin, Schroeder and Chirac understand what's really going on, even if some of their underlings could still be in the dark, perhaps blinded by ideology or self-interest. Even if Bush hasn't formally filled them in on the big picture, their intelligence services must have put two and two together by now. The truth is, if I were Vladimir Putin or Jacques Chirac and I really believed George Bush was about to launch into a hot war with Iraq, I would do everything in my power to stop him. Those countries stand to take millions of casualties from Saddam's anthrax retaliation during the end game, if we start this thing now. Something else is going on here. The strategy for dealing with Iraq must not expose the fundamental weakness of the US position -- it's inability to retaliate for 9/11 without taking massive civilian casualties from Saddam's WMD. That means Bush has to play bad cop and Putin et al play good cop. It's the whole ruse with Colin Powell, only played out on an even larger stage.
3 posted on 02/11/2003 10:18:18 PM PST by The Great Satan (Revenge, Terror and Extortion: A Guide for the Perplexed)
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To: The Great Satan
Disclosure: it's all in the timing.
4 posted on 02/11/2003 10:28:47 PM PST by Travis McGee (----- -----)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Republican_Strategist
"Iraq claims it no longer has weapons of mass destruction and UN inspectors have failed to find any since returning to the country late last year."

The Guardian tosses this line off, as if to dismiss the notion that Iraq could conceivably have any chemical or biological agents.

But the point is:

1. We (and the inspectors) know they had them.

2. They can provide no proof these weapons have been destroyed.

The burden of proof is on Iraq.

Let's say an editor of the Guardian knew their rebellious and somewhat vicious adolescent boy had purchased a pet cobra. But the boy blandly insisted he did not have a pet snake. After a quick search of his bedroom failed to turn up the cobra, would the editor say, "O.K., you won this game of hide and seek...but don't ever let me find that cobra outside your room"?

The left's attitude in this affair is just unbelievably obtuse...

6 posted on 02/12/2003 7:02:37 AM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: The Great Satan
Thank you for the heads up! I agree with your analysis. England and Israel both openly went for the vaccines and the stockpiles. I suspect Australia and other close allies are also prepared.

7 posted on 02/12/2003 2:37:17 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Australia has smallpox vaccine now and interestingly Germany is well on its way to getting enough for its population, though only about halfway there now.
8 posted on 02/13/2003 12:04:07 AM PST by patriciaruth
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